We refrain from ever showing the soles our feet towards the direction of the shrine or the lama. We do not completely lie down, but instead sit attentively and politely in whatever way is appropriate for us. Don’t show the lama your back and cover your mouth with your hand in a respectful way when you talk to the lama.
We don’t sit in the shrine room with short pants or skirts, or with sunglasses or hats, or revealing garments, even during summer. If we wear such light clothing outside, it is wise to bring a shawl covering whilst sitting. Needless to say clothing with rude or silly messages written on them are also not appropriate. In brief, we simply dress respectfully.
Be mindful that very strong perfumes and aftershaves, gaudy coloured clothing and noisy jewellery are best to avoid as they may be distracting to others (during meditation practice). In brief we are considerate of others!
Conversation inside the shrine room should be kept to the minimum, it is a place for practice, for mindfulness and not a social spot. That’S what the gardens are for! Strech your body in the garden with awareness, do some circumambulation, following the path set out by signs, but do not exercise in the shrineroom
Dharma books and texts should not lay on the floor or be placed in a low area where they could be stepped upon or over. One should also not place ordinary items upon these holy materials, such as your car keys, coffee cups and the like. Carry such items respectfully and pass them to others respectfully with both of your hands, not with just one hand.
When a lama enters the room, we stand up to greet them, and offer them a seat. We sit down once they have sat down.
We carefully look after what the lama might need. This sometimes requires some keen observation because they never say what they might need. This is an important form of spiritual practice. It is up to us to be alert to the lamas’ needs. That is why it is best to confer with the attendant or assistant of the lama to make sure the teacher is receiving the right diet, has any necessary medication, has enough rest, is not being overworked by the requests of a center, students, etc.